Two events are taking the attention of the world now – Russian action in Ukraine and beyond, and the search for flight MH370 – and as a result, the high level summit assembled in the Hague to discuss strengthening nuclear security is overshadowed to the point of obliteration.
The fate of the missing plane and its passengers continues to fascinate and mystify, while concern over the repercussions of Russian aggression and what to do about it demands attention for the sake of global stability: curiosity, sadly at the expense of compassion, and a genuine danger to world peace separately but simultaneously are providing a distraction from what may prove to be a far more important priority.
Action on improving the security of nuclear stockpiles to reduce the possibility of dangerous material falling into the hands of terrorists is overdue: last year there were 140 known cases of missing or unauthorised nuclear and radioactive material, and in 2012 protestors managed to break into the United States nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee as a result of ineptitude and multiple system failures. Complacency and poor practice in the world of nuclear security is not helpful, which is why the meeting of world leaders today to agree the reducing of nuclear stockpiles and the strengthening of nuclear security is so important, whatever else is going on elsewhere.
President Obama is expected to use the Hague Summit on nuclear security to press the EU to be stronger in its sanctions against Russia, which is ironic when Russia is known to have the worst record of any nuclear power on nuclear theft illegal access, and incidents. The greater the schism with Russia, the harder it will be to achieve better nuclear co-operation and good practice from her.
The actions of past and present leaders have brought us to this unhappy situation of global instability and nuclear instability, and there are no easy or instant solutions. I pray for wisdom from all concerned, and an intent to do what is the greatest good, however difficult it may be.